Boscombe surf reef: bad for surfers, great for divers

The controversial artificial surf reef built in Boscombe, United Kingdom, will turn into a diving and snorkel attraction.

ASR Limited, the company that built the Boscombe Surf Reef, has been in liquidation since September 2013, and the repairs needed to improve the structure won't be completed.

"The Council has made it clear that no additional taxpayers' money will be spent enhancing the reef’s performance for surfing, and that position remains unchanged," explains Mark Smith, head of tourism at Bournemouth Council.

"Plans include a commercial dive center, a try-dive facility, and a dive and snorkel trail around the existing reef, with additional submerged artifacts for more experienced divers."

Surfing and bodyboarding, however, will not be a priority despite the investment of three million pounds.

The Boscombe Surf Reef was officially declared open on November 2, 2009, and has been closed since May 2011 due to problems with the geotextile bags.

The authorities say that the damaged reef has also "become a draw for kayakers, stand-up paddle-boarders, and snorkelers, keen to catch a glimpse of the teams of marine life that have now colonized the reef."

In 2011, only four out of its 11 performance targets were successfully confirmed. Nick Behunin, ASR managing director, has disappeared.

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